Weekend Family Fun

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2/27 – 2/28 – Blast from the Past: Rockin’ Rocks and Diggin’ Dinos at the Discovery Museum – Rocks are a fascinating artifacts from the past that have a lot to tell you about Earth’s ancient–and not-so-ancient–history. Interactive displays will give visitors a real science encounter with rocks, crystals, and fossils of all kinds. The basics of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks are presented in an engaging, hands-on style using large, attractive specimens. Displays include volcanoes, floating rocks, magnetism, fluorescence, and rocks under different magnifications.  The museum will also focus on how professional paleontologists who “dig dinos” for a living do their work. Learn about Mary Anning and Roy Chapman Andrews, prominent paleontologists from the past.

2/28 – 3/1 – Gulliver’s Travels – The visual arts department invites you to come take a journey with the most unlikely of tour guides in our fantastical remake of Gulliver’s Travels. Along the way you will hear Gulliver’s telling of the fantastical lands, people, and creatures that he met. Hop aboard for adventure! Experience this giant size expedition through the eyes of visual artists. Giant puppets, shadow art, digital projections, dancing horses, elephant size snails and tiny Lilliputians
await your arrival on this most fabulous adventure!

3/1 – CJ the Sumatran Tiger’s 1st Birthday at the Sacramento Zoo – Join the celebration of CJ the Sumatran Tiger’s first birthday! CJ will receive a birthday cake-shaped enrichment while visitors watch and share their well wishes. Activities during the day will include signing CJ’s birthday card as well as tiger activities and conservation information.

3/1 – Healthy Kids Expo at Arden Fair Mall – Join Radio Disney for some fitness and fun including a circuit training course offering fun ways to exercise. Plus, Sutter Health physicians will measure height and weight for kids and distribute healthy tips to stay active.  Get your passport stamped along the way for fun prizes!

3/1 – Happy Heart Healthy Eating Day at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Incorporating healthy habits with fun activities is important for children and adults alike! Sacramento Children’s Museum is hosting Happy Heart, Healthy
Eating Day to promote healthy eating and good exercise habits for museum attendees.

3/1 – Something’s Fishy at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Get “schooled” on our region’s local fish and learn the ancient Japanese art of Gyotaku (with rubber fish)! Materials provided and guests will get to take your fish prints home.  Space is limited; sign-ups will be taken the day of the event.

31/ – 3/2 – Snarly Saber-Tooths at the Discovery Museum – Check out a fun weekend of prehistoric mammals! The museum is highlighting a favorite, the snarly Saber-tooth cat. Look at a replica skull in the Blast from the Past! exhibit. Fun facts about these wild cats will be shared in the family feature. After constructing a mask, kids might snarl and growl like a
Saber-tooth, so watch out!

3/2 – Get Growing at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Take a walk to look for seedlings on the trail, then sow your own seed to take home!

3/2 – Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Celebration at Fairytale Town – Celebrate Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday with popular Seuss-themed hands-on activities and crafts. Stop by the Mother Goose Stage for a unique nonstop read-aloud of your favorite tongue-twisting, rhyming Seuss books.

3/2 – Sacramento Comic, Toy and Anime Show -The Sacramento Comic, Toy, and Anime show (Sac-Con) is Sacramento’s original Comic-Con, providing family friendly pop-culture entertainment for over 25 years. Highlights include a huge vendors room, small press zone featuring talented local artists, panels and workshops hosted by celebrity guests, cosplay costume contest, charity raffle benefitting local charities, and much more.  Celebrity guests include Kevin Eastman (artist and creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Sergio Aragones (Mad Magazine artist and creator of Groo the Wanderer), James O’Barr (creator of the Crow), and many more.

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Celebrate Dr. Seuss at Fairytale Town this Sunday!

untitledBy Heather Crivellone

“Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is youer than you”.  And there was no one who was like the incredible Dr. Seuss!  Everyone knows the classic tales of  “The Lorax”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, “The Cat in the Hat” and other well known Dr. Seuss tales.
This Sunday, March 2nd , you can celebrate his birthday with your children at one of Sacramento’s most loved destinations Fairytale Town (where classic story-book tales come to life at this ultimate children’s playground).  From 11am-3pm (with the price of admission into the park) your children can hear nonstop reading of the favorite colorful, tongue-twisting tales of Dr. Seuss at the Mother Goose Stage.  Along with the stories being told, Runaway Stage Productions will be performing excerpts from “Seussical, The Musical”  in the Children’s Theater at 11:15 and 11:45.

Here is a list of the featured readers:
11 AM
Phil Serna, Sacramento County Supervisor – Green Eggs and Ham
Donna Apidone, Capital Public Radio – One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Cheryl Dell, Sacramento Bee – Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Rafael Siegel, Sacramento & Co – Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
Dinger & MC Mike on the Mic, Sacramento River Cats – The Sneetches

12 PM
Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Council Member – Fox in Socks
Pam Dinsmore, Sacramento Bee – Hop on Pop
Arlene Greene & Maria Collins, ScholarShare College Savings Plan – I Am Not Going To Get Up Today! (Read in English & Spanish)
Angelique Ashby, Sacramento City Mayor Pro Tem – The Butter Battle Book

1 PM
John Shirey, City of Sacramento – The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
Keilah Woodard, Sacramento Sidetracks – There’s a Wocket in My Pocket
Dan Arthur, Mix96 Morning Show – The Lorax
Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor – Horton Hears a Who!
Stephanie Bray, United Way California Capital Region – I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

2 PM
Roger Dickinson, California State Assemblymember – The Cat in the Hat
Rick McVey, Fairytale Town – The Foot Book
Kevin McCarty, Sacramento City Council Member – Huevos Verdes Con Jamon (Green Eggs and Ham in Spanish)

Readers are subject to change without notice and are not listed in order of appearance.

This will be a fun and entertaining day for kids of all ages…what a great way to celebrate the legendary Dr. Seuss!

Weekend Family Fun

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2/22 – Premiere of Grand Central: An American Treasure – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum are proud to announce the West Coast premiere of a new film, Grand Central: An American Treasure, by award-winning producer Richard Luckin, Two special screenings of this documentary — introduced by Mr. Luckin and followed by a question and answer session — will take place on Saturday, February 22, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Museum Theater. Withmore trains, tracks and track platforms than any other railroad passenger terminal in the world, Grand Central is the world’s largest train terminal.  Less well-known is that Grand Central is at the very heart of the historic preservation movement in America.

2/22 – Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics at Sleep Train Arena – The Sacramento Kings take on the Boston Celtics in this basketball game.

2/22 – 2/24 – Mammoth Mayhem at the Discovery Museum – Discovery’s Blast from the Past! exhibit features dinosaurs, fossils, rocks and
crystals. Max, their baby mammoth model, will be on display for guests to add yarn to his woolly coat. Kids take home a special souvenir by painting their own mammoth cave painting on sandstone rock.

2/22 – Road Ride – American River Parkway Trail Techniques – These short local rides are a great way to get to know your local bike trails.
You’ll have an opportunity to visit a new destination via your bicycle.  This ride is appropriate for riders Age 9 and above.

2/23 – Leapin’ Lizards at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Come meet a skink, blue belly, and other resident lizards and find out what make
these cold-blooded critters so amazing.

2/23 – Story Pirates at UC Davis’ Mondavi Center – Who knew literacy training could be such rambunctious fun! Celebrating the words and ideas of local young authors, Story Pirates presents an hour-long sketch-comedy musical based entirely on stories written by students. Based in New York City and Los Angeles, the Story Pirates take the show on the high seas (ok, they actually take I-5 and/or an airplane) to bring this spectacle to the Mondavi Center for the first time, with the audience and actors onstage at the same time!

Thru 2/28 – Earth from Space at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – See the Earth as never before! Earth from Space is a set of amazing artwork from the popular exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies.

Thru 6/15 – It’s Electrifying!  Alternative Fuel Vehicles in California at the California Automobile Museum –  Presented by SMUD at the California Automobile Museum,  this exhibit is a historical look at the progression of alternative fuel and electric cars produced with California’s trending market in mind.  From a 1911 Detroit Electric to a sleek Tesla Roadster, Museum patrons will explore and discover the technology that has driven these cars through the past and into the future. Children and adults will enjoy an enlightening display of plug-in electric, fuel cell, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen vehicles that have been influential to today’s auto industry.

Planet Kids at Soda Springs Resort is open for Snow Play!

photo-1By Heather Crivellone

Hooray…we have finally had some rain in the Sacramento valley.  And with rain in the valley, that typically means snow on the mountains!  Unfortunately, this winter has been more “spring like” than a typical winter in Sacramento should be.  But, some of the snow parks have been busy making snow and with the last few storms- some of the play areas finally have snow!

And with snow on the mountains-  that means “road trips” to play in the icy wonderland!  I have to admit, I’m not a snow bunny at heart.  I don’t particularly enjoy being bundled up and walking in the snow- because no matter how thick your socks are…toes still get frozen!  However, I DO love the fact that we live here in Sacramento- so close to go and play in the snow, yet be able to come home and cozy up on my own couch by dinnertime.
In under a 2 hour drive, we can be in the High Sierras and hitting some of the most famous slopes.  My family loves to take advantage of this proximity and we always seem to be heading up the hill a few more times than I would personally enjoy.

Recently, we took our kids (ages 4 and 6) to Soda Springs Resort to check out “Planet Kids”.  This was absolutely worth the $30/kid entrance fee… the kids (and grudgingly, I did also) had a blast!
For $30, the kids can try out skiing and/or snowboarding (rentals are included in the admission price) on their very tame “kids slope”.  We also enjoyed tubing, climbing the snow mountains and my sons favorite-the intertube carousel.  They take the preparation work away and all you need to bring is warmly dressed kids…they even sell light snacks on the hill and of course you can purchase a full lunch at the lodge.

In addition to “Planet Kids”, Soda Springs also offers lessons, lifts and “Tube Town”.  This is geared for children and adults 42″ and taller where a moving carpet is designed to escalate up the mountain so you can zip and zoom down the hill in your tube!
And for those kids who are even a bit more adventurous, they have mini-snowmobiles for rent for kids ages 6-12 and under 100 lbs.  Kids can hop on their very own mini snowmobile and cruise around a circular track made specifically for snowmobiling
Located approximately 1.5 hours above Sacramento and off of Hwy 80, Soda Springs makes for a perfect winter family day trip!

And with some snow (finally) on the mountains, you may be considering heading up the hill with your family.  Many of the snow parks have had to close due to lack of snow, but Soda Springs is in fact open to the public.  So gather up your warm jackets, some hot cocoa and cameras and hit the slopes with your family (don’t forget the sun block and lip balm) and make some memories in our local winter wonderland!

Weekend Family Fun

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2/14 – Valentine’s Day Drop-off Night at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Need time to sneak away from the kids for a special Valentine’s Day date? Back by popular demand, Sacramento Children’s Museum is offering a Valentine’s Day Drop Off Night! Drop off your children for a night of museum play and fun, along with snacks! Museum staff will host structured activities as well as free museum play. Children must be fully potty-trained to participate.

2/15 – Birding for Families at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Bring the family out for a birding walk led by a naturalist and special guest
guides from the Sacramento Audubon Society.  Birdwatchers of all levels are welcomed, so make sure to bring your binoculars!

2/15 – Hands on History: By Land and By Sea at Sutter’s Fort – Through exciting demonstrations and fun hands-on activities, docents will help Fort visitors understand the two different ways immigrants originally came to California–by land or by sea–while sharing the unique challenges they faced and what daily life was like during their journeys.  A special station will be set up with pioneer clothes where visitors can select outfits and have their pictures taken with the wagon or with another pioneer setting (using their own cameras).  More hands-on activities also await Fort visitors as they will help pack a wagon or trunk, make choices about what to bring along for their “journey of a lifetime,” learn how to use a nautical compass, hoist a laden barrel, weave rope, learn simple knots, create maps with available resources and even join the Navy.

2/15 – Solar Car Race at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – Drop-in and create a fast-moving cruiser powered completely by the sun! This well-lit laboratory will be open for your family to build your own solar-powered car and race it before the workshop concludes.

2/15 – 2/17 – Engineering Antics at the Discovery Museum – If your child likes to build, this is the weekend for them! Celebrate National Engineering Week at this popular event where children build a foil boat and see how much weight it can hold before it sinks.  Compete against other visitors to see who can build the tallest structure with the supplies provided. Enjoy a water activity while discovering how to prevent pollution in streams and rivers. Local high school robotics teams will be on hand each day with their competition robots.

2/16 – Sensational Senses at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – How do humans and animals explore and get information from their nvironment? Come learn some fun facts about the function of your senses and compare them with the sensory ability of local wildlife.

Thru 2/17 – Disney on Ice Presents Rockin’ Ever After at Sleep Train Arena – The all-new Disney On Ice family spectacular Rockin’ Ever After skates into Sacramento on its North American tour. In this new twist on fairy-tale fun, your favorite Disney characters compete in a talent show to determine who will be the next superstar. The show features comical segments starring Ariel and Sebastian, Rapunzel and Flynn, the Beast and Belle, and introducing Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave in her skating debut.

There’s Still Time to Purchase Tickets to Rockin’ Ever After

d33s_merida and familyBy Alyssa Green

Wednesday night, Brave’s Merida made her debut with Disney on Ice at Sleep Train Arena.  And what debut it was!

I have heard a lot of wonderful things about Disney on Ice over the years, but because I have two sons and no daughters, we have never attended a performance – there has never been any interest.  Now I know what we have been missing.  Pure entertainment joy!

The show opened with a spectacular under the sea scene, complete with all of our favorite characters from The Little Mermaid.  Sebastian, Flounder, Ursula, and of course Ariel and Prince Eric.  It was fun to see Sleep Train Arena transformed into a beautiful and mesmerizing  ocean world full of movement and color.  What a way to get us excited about the rest of the show!

Next came Rapunzel, then the “brave” Merida, the star of the show, making her Disney on Ice debut.  I have to admit to never having actually seen the movie Brave, but guess what is on my list to watch this weekend?  Yep, Disney’s Brave.  Loved, loved, loved Merida and her spunky personality, not to mention her very cute little brothers, who joined her on the ice.  Last, but not least came the beauty Belle, Gaston, the beast and all our other favorite characters from Beauty and the Beast, ending the show with a bright and colorful bang.

The skating and dancing throughout the show was impressive, as were the scenery and props – true to Disney style, of course.  I really can’t imagine anyone attending the show and going away disappointed.  How can you not love all the lights, glitz, costumes and singing from your favorite Disney movies?  Even my 10-year-old son (that’s right, he came along) enjoyed it!

If you don’t have tickets to the show yet, there is still time!  Rockin’ Ever After will be at Sleep Train Arena through Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 and you can still purchase tickets.  For showtimes, locations and prices, click here.

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Love is in the Air- Valentine’s Day Events for the kids in Sacramento

images67TP7YFNBy Heather Crivellone

Love is in the Air!  It’s Valentine’s Week- and there are so many fun events and ways to say “I love you”.  If you want to give your kids and spouse an extra “treat” this week- here are a few ideas to make the special day even more sweet.

At Bounce U in Roseville and Rancho Cordova, the kids can have an extra evening of bouncing fun.  On February 11 (at the Rancho Cordova location) and on February 12 ( at the Roseville location) they will be hosting a special Valentine’s Bounce night.  From 6:00 -7:30pm, the kids will have extra time to bounce to their heart’s content!
And again on Friday, February 14th both locations will be hosting a “Valentine’s Parents Night Out”.  For $20.00 per child, you can have a night out with your love while your kids bounce, play, eat and have fun with their friends!

At the Bounce Spot in West Sacramento, on Friday, February 14th from 5:00-10:00pm, you can drop your kids off for an evening of bouncing fun, while you and  your “sweet heart” can have a date night out.  The cost of this date night for the kids is $25 and it includes dinner.

The Sacramento Children’s Museum in Rancho Cordova is also hosting a Valentine Day Drop off in the evening for parents to have a “date night”.  From 5:00-9:00pm, the kids will be able to play in the museum, explore, play games, create unique crafts and have some tasty snacks.  Admission into the museum this evening will be $25 per child.

On Wednesday, February 12 from 4:00-5:00pm- take your kids to Megan’s Bake Shop in West Sacramento for some sweet treats and a cookie decorating class.  They will create their own Valentine’s cookies to give to their special someone…or you may just enjoy them before you leave.

The Crocker Art Museum is also hosting a Wee Wednesday Love Fest on Wednesday, February 12.  From 11:00am-12:00pm Children ages five and younger and their grownups are invited to celebrate Valentine’s Day at this special Wee Wednesday. Enjoy a special sing-along with Kristin Wright, make Valentine’s crafts, and leave valentine hearts for your favorite artworks in the Crocker galleries.

And of course- you can always just bake some cookies with your loved ones, make some cut out Valentines hearts and snuggle up with your favorite people.  Whatever you choose to do- we hope it’s a special day for you and your family!